Stellantis has today confirmed the start of battery electric van production at its Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility, with the first vehicles already rolling off the production line.
The Cheshire plant will produce the Vauxhall Combo Electric, Opel Combo Electric, Peugeot e-Partner and Citroën ë-Berlingo, as well as the Fiat E-Doblò compact van, amid increased European demand.
It means that Ellesmere Port is the UK’s first EV-only manufacturing plant and the first Stellantis plant globally that is dedicated to electric vehicles, following a £100 million facility transition.
From 2024, Ellesmere Port will also produce a range of electric passenger vehicles across the Stellantis brands, including the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo MPVs.
Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, said: “Today’s announcement in which Ellesmere Port becomes the UK’s first electric vehicle-only manufacturing plant and the first Stellantis plant globally dedicated to electric vehicles, is a very visible demonstration that this Government has got the right plan for the UK’s automotive sector.
“Alongside recent investments from other major vehicle manufacturers, we are ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of automotive innovation as well as securing jobs in this critical industry and its wider supply chain.”
Diane Miller, Plant Director, Ellesmere Port, said: “The start of electric vehicle production at Ellesmere Port signals a bright future for the plant, ensuring it will continue to manufacture vehicles for many years to come.
“With Vauxhall’s long history of UK manufacturing, it’s especially fitting that the first electric model to roll off Ellesmere Port’s production line is a Combo Electric.
“Stellantis is committed to working with government to ensure the UK automotive industry remains competitive for producing electric vehicles for the long-term.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “A milestone for UK automotive manufacturing today with the start of production at Ellesmere Port, which becomes the first all-electric vehicle production plant in the UK. Electrifying British automotive manufacturing will help deliver jobs, growth and net zero and shows we are globally competitive. With UK van production already at a 12 year high, it is a further boost to our advanced auto manufacturing sector and its supply chain.”
As part of the plant’s transformation, Ellesmere Port has undergone several key changes, including the addition of a battery assembly shop, upgraded general assembly and relocation of the bodyshop. It has contributed to a 60% reduction of the total site area for improved energy efficiency and productivity. At 118,000m2, the entire plant is now a similar size to the previous bodyshop.